Georgian TV Advertising Market Down by 10% in 2019

The TV advertising market shrank by 10% in Georgia last year and amounted to GEL 67.97 ($24.06) million, according to statistics released by the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) last week.

GNCC reports that during 2019, the size of the Georgian television advertising market decreased by GEL 7.7 million ($2.73 m), mainly connected to a 27% decrease in Rustavi 2 advertising revenue in QIV 2019. As a result, Imedi TV topped the advertising market, earning GEL 26.7 ($9.45) million from commercial advertising in 2019. Imedi was followed by TV station Pirveli, which attracted GEL 3.9 ($1.38) million in 2019 from advertising, and Silknet with GEL 2.6 ($0.92) million.

In 4th place on the list is TV station Main Channel, which started active broadcasting in the fourth quarter of 2019. The channel's advertising revenue was GEL 2.4 ($0.85) million.

In 2019, television advertising revenue was distributed as follows:

1. TV Imedi - 26,707,501 GEL, a 3% increase compared to 2018;

2. Rustavi 2 - 22,133,956 GEL, a decrease of 27%;

3. TV Pirveli - 3,802,871 GEL, 18% growth;

4. Silknet - 2,618,284 GEL, 12% increase;

5. Main Channel - 2,447,351 GEL;

6. GDS TV - 1,839,936 GEL, an increase of 22%;

7. Georgian Public Broadcaster - 1,420,479 GEL, a 51% decrease;

8. Setanta Georgia - 1,072,101 GEL, a 2% growth;

9. Palitra TV - 566,583 GEL, an increase of 324%;

10. TV 25 - 528,447 GEL; 9%;

11. Studio Pulse - 373,812 GEL;

12. Kavkasia TV - 322,247 GEL, a decrease of 36%;

13. Studio Maestro - 302,368 GEL, a decrease of 30%.

In QIV last year, television advertising revenue was distributed as follows:

Imedi TV - 9,891,702.51 GEL

Rustavi 2 - 5,009,224.00 GEL

Main Channel - 2,426,619.30 GEL

TV Pirveli - 1,423,321.00 GEL

Public Broadcaster - 656,171.18 GEL

Silknet - 614,660.89 GEL

GDS TV - 600,787.79 GEL

Setanta Georgia - 277,271.35 GEL

RBJ - Rs 143,408.50

TV 25 - 133,989.90 GEL

Trialeti TV and Radio Company - 123,235.52 GEL

Studio Pulse - 86,964.37 GEL

Kvemo Kartli TV and Radio Company - 84,860.00 GEL

Maestro Studio - 118,025.00 GEL

Palette TV - 158,902.45 GEL

Rugby TV - 96,649.00 GEL

Obiektivi - 70,000.00 GEL

Caucasus TV - 64,241.13 GEL

Rioni TV and Radio Company - 47,791.94 GEL

Independent TV and Radio Company in Odishi - 32,784.75 GEL

Other - 431,697.56 GEL

"In the fourth quarter of 2019, only the broadcasting company Rustavi 2 had a significant decrease in advertising. In particular, Rustavi 2 received 7,336,934 less income from advertising in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018,” the GNCC stated.

Television advertising is a span of television programming produced and paid for by an organization. It conveys a message promoting a product or service. Advertising revenue provides a significant portion of the funding for most privately owned television networks.

To note, Maestro, Imedi and Rustavi 2 TV companies accumulated $55 million in debt to the state in 2016-2019 in unpaid tax.

Last week, Finance Minister Ivane Machavariani said in parliament that the TV stations had submitted proposals to pay off their existing debts on a 5-year schedule.

“Unfortunately, there is a tradition in our country that large television channels avoid paying the declared taxes,” the Minister noted, adding that tax avoidance reduced budget revenues and significantly hampered the development of relatively small television channels.

“Last year, we publicly explained to the television stations that we were not going to continue such practices, and demanded that everyone pay their current taxes,” Machavariani said.

The Minister noted that there is active communication with the TV companies, adding the largest ones who owe the State tax will pay off their debts over 5 years, as requested by these companies. Machavariani said this schedule will allow TV companies to continue broadcasting while fully covering their tax liabilities.

“It is important to put all business entities on equal conditions. By fully paying the current taxes to the State, all broadcasters will be put in an equal competitive environment for the first time, which will eventually lead to unified rules in the market,” Machavariani said.

By Tea Mariamidze

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24 February 2020 19:17